DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 January) – Officials of the city government of Davao will sign a sisterhood agreement with Honolulu, Hawaii next month, an official of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) said.
Newly-elected DCCCII president Arturo Milan told reporters on Wednesday that representatives from the city government and the Chamber met on Tuesday with officials from Honolulu.
He said the Hawaiian officials want the signing to take place next month.
“The sisterhood agreement is just a memorandum of agreement that we are open to exploration of opportunities. It’s just a statement that both cities are open for exploration,” he added.
Milan said he is not aware what interests Hawaiians have in the city but he can only surmise that they may want to forge cooperation in the areas of tourism and food production.
He said food might be an area of interest for the Hawaiians since Mindanao is a gateway to the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN).
“I want to understand first what area they want cooperation. It can be tourism, I suppose. Hawaii is a tourist destination, probably in those areas and probably in food because being tourism area they get most of their food requirement from the mainland US,” he said.
A business delegation from Hawaii led by County of Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr., Consul General of the Philippine in Honolulu Gina A. Jamoralin, and Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii President Bernadette Dario Fajardo visited the city on February 18, 2017.
Carvalho presented a friendship certificate to the city government “to signify its strong interest in developing bilateral ties for potential investment and tourism exchange.”
Milan added Davao City and Mindanao is “now in the global scene” and generating a lot of interest because of former mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
“We are in a very exciting times. Davao, I hope, can take advantage of this,” he said.
He said stakeholders in Mindanao should be united to get the “most out of his presidency because we may not get this kind of attraction we are getting right now” once Duterte steps down in 2022.
He said he hopes the all the initiatives that are currently being done today will be established and already sustainable by end of his term. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)